The average person sheds between 50 and 100 hairs a day. This is completely normal and all part of hair’s natural life cycle. It is also normal to experience episodes of excessive hair shedding, which may result from a traumatic or stressful event. Hair loss, however, occurs when something physically stops hair from growing or causes hair to fall out at a faster speed than normal. Many factors can cause such issues.
Hair Growth Cycle
Hair on the scalp consists of 100,000 to 150,000 follicles, which is a small number in comparison to the approximate 5 million follicles covering the rest of the body. Each hair follicle has a natural renewal cycle and goes through stages: a growth stage (anagen), a stage of active loss (catagen) and a rest stage (telogen).
In a healthy scalp, 90% of the hairs remain in the anagen phase, which can last a period of 3 years. The next phase, the catagen phase, usually lasts approximately 1 to 3 weeks. During this phase, the hair separates from the dermal root but remains in place only by a thin strand of connective tissue. The final stage, the telogen phase, occurs and lasts around 3 to 4 months, leading to the hair shaft eventually falling out. Hair can start to thin if the rate of hair loss exceeds that of hair growth.
Hair Shedding Versus Hair Loss
Hair shedding, also known as telogen effluvium, is a condition that occurs when a person sheds significantly more than the average 50-100 hairs per day, but the shedding is usually only temporary and often stops on its own. Excessive hair shedding is a common occurrence in people who may have experienced a stressor, such as:
- Giving birth
- Losing excessive weight
- A period of high stress (bereavement, divorce, losing a job)
- Recovering from an illness or a high fever
- Undergoing a surgical procedure
- Stopping birth-control medication
Excessive hair shedding may not be noticeable for several months after the stressful event, but this type of hair loss is not uncommon and is usually only temporary before the hair regains its normal fullness again.
Hair loss, also known as anagen effluvium, is when something prevents the hair from growing, meaning the hair ceases to grow back until the underlying issue has been treated successfully. Common causes of hair loss include:
- Hereditary conditions (such as male pattern baldness)
- Immune system deficiencies
- Hormonal Changes
- Medical Conditions
- Certain drugs and treatments (such as chemotherapy)
- Certain hairstyles and harsh hair care treatments
Hair loss is often hereditary. Genetic signals can cause hair follicle cells to gradually slow down, which results in shorter, finer hair in the affected areas of the scalp.
Hair Loss Treatment Options
If you are concerned with your level of hair loss, seek advice from a hair specialist, who will be able to tell whether you have excessive hair shedding or hair loss through an evaluation and can discuss appropriate treatment options with you.
Hair restoration has advanced over the past decade, meaning treatments that provide natural-looking results are more effective and readily available than ever before. A hair transplant doctor can help you decide which treatment option is best suited to your needs. They provide a number of different surgical and non-surgical hair restoration options which can include low level laser therapy (LLLT), platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatments, hair transplant surgery, and other medical treatments to promote hair growth and slow down hair loss.
Hair Restoration in Kansas City, West Des Moines & Liberty, MO
Regardless of the cause, you don’t have to live with hair loss. At Darling Hair Restoration, we are committed to helping you find the right solution. Our hair transplant surgeon Dr. Scott Darling is a leading hair restoration specialist who can evaluate and diagnose your hair loss and provide a treatment plan specifically tailored to your needs.
For more information about the services we offer or to book a consultation, contact us today at (816) 792-3400 or you can use our convenient online appointment request form.